This blog captures various aspects of my experience with caregiving including the frustrations, and information that I have learned through situations that I have encountered along the way. I have found that the experiences that are expressed by many in this situation are very negative. My goal is to focus on the positive aspects and insight that I have gained which has allowed me to develop into a stronger self sufficient individual. My perspective on life has changed and has been greatly impacted by my caregiving experience. There are many lessons I’ve learned over time and it has forced me to change my attitude and look at things in a more positive light. Perhaps you will learn that you are not alone and will find some things shared on this site to be helpful to you.
Being a caregiver is not easy and often takes a toll on the caregiver’s finances, health, mental health, and personal life. Seeing a spouse or parent decline and need help or struggling with cognitive impairment is difficult for family members in a variety ways. Additionally, being a parent of someone with special needs or an individual who has an accident that permanently causes disabilities all will require some level of assistance to function independently, and caregivers more often than not are providing this care.
Research shows that caregivers need to take care of themselves first so they can remain healthy and able to continue their caregiving roles.
Attention Caregivers: I encourage you to take care of yourself!
Think about this, if you have ever been on an airplane, the crew has instructed you – in case of emergency- to put on your oxygen mask before helping others. The same logic applies to caregiving– you can only help someone else if you are well enough to do so. You need rest, proper nutrition, exercise and socialization.
Another thing we must realize is that the only thing that is constant is change. We cannot always control various things that happen in our surroundings and to our loved ones. The best thing that we can do is to accept that change is inevitable and adjust our outlook and enjoy the time that we have with our family members. Looking through a lens with increased faith and a positive outlook often helps a great deal.
Sometimes becoming a caregiver happens suddenly. However, most often a caregiving experience forces you to take on huge responsibility gradually. You may not feel as though you can handle what is happening and what will come in the future. However, I’ve come to think of the situation as a learning experience that is shaping me into a stronger person. It has been said that God does not call the equipped but equips the called.
I hope by sharing my experience I will inspire, motivate, and encourage you to seek balance in your life. I hope you realize that your life is not over because you have new responsibilities.
Welcome to the Chronicles of a Cultivated Caregiver!